December 22, 2010

Rep. Everett McLeod, of Lee, dies at 68

By Susan M. Cover
State House Bureau

AUGUSTA -- Rep. Everett W. McLeod Sr., a Republican from Penobscot County, died Monday at his home after battling cancer.

McLeod, 68, of Lee, had been re-elected Nov. 2 to a fourth term.

Rep. Jeffery Gifford, R-Lincoln, said McLeod, who served on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, was a strong supporter of fishing, hunting and snowmobiling.

"He was a straight-shooting guy," he said. "Very Christian. Very family oriented. He put God and his family before almost anything and served his constituents well."

In addition to his service on the IF&W committee, he also served on the Utilities and Energy Committee and the Government Oversight Committee. He also was active in town politics in Lee, having served on the school board and as a selectman.

"This is a great loss," Gov. John Baldacci said in a statement. "I've known Everett for 15 years, and he was a good man and a dedicated public servant. I enjoyed working with him to reopen the Lincoln mill and to make life better for the people he represented. Everett was a tireless advocate and will be greatly missed by his family, friends, community and by me personally."

Baldacci traveled to McLeod's home Dec. 5 to administer the oath of office because McLeod was too weak to travel.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said in a statement she was "saddened to learn of Everett's passing."

"I last saw him in October when we had lunch together in Lincoln," she said. "I'll always remember his great sense of humor, quick wit and his kindness."

Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry, said McLeod was "a dedicated public servant and a devoted family man."

"I was privileged to work with him and get to know him as a colleague," he said in a statement. "My heart goes out to his wife, Sarah, and his family, and they will remain in my prayers in the days to come. His passing is a great loss to the people he served so well, and the entire state of Maine."

McLeod's death marks the first time since 2007 that a sitting legislator died in office. That year, three House members died in office: Abigail Holman, R-Fayette, and her House District 83 successor, Deane Jones, D-Mount Vernon; and Earl Richardson, R-Greenville.

Holman died in a skiing accident, and her replacement, Jones, died of lung cancer. Richardson also died of cancer.

There is no automatic special election to fill McLeod's seat, according to the Secretary of State's office. One of the towns in the district, a large rural area that covers parts of Penobscot, Washington and Hancock counties, must notify the governor of a vacancy before the state can call for an election to fill the seat.

Calling hours for McLeod are 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Clay Funeral Home in Lincoln. A memorial service will be held at the funeral home at 11 a.m. Friday, according to the Bangor Daily News.


Susan Cover -- 620-7015

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